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Can you have depression and be a good mother?

(48 Posts)
MsAkimbo Wed 27-Mar-13 19:34:35

Because I do and am not.

My baby has just screamed for 3 hours straight and refuses to sleep despite being exhausted. I changed her, fed her, changed her again, tried soothing her; nothing has worked.

I am exhausted. She's in her jumper right now playing quietly by herself while I contemplate jumping out the window. I have no energy and can't even talk to her I'm so upset.

She is a beautiful, bright, lovely little baby. She has so much love. I feel like she'll be better off without me. I know my Dh would have lots of family/friend support if I were to leave. He's an amazing dad. My MIL is awesome. I have an aunt and uncle who can't have children and they'd be amazing parents.

I am just not good enough for her.

MsAkimbo Tue 02-Apr-13 21:42:22

Oh missed that last one lagoon

This will be a tough week as MIL is working FT hours this week and Aunt and Uncle are on holidays visiting family.

MsAkimbo Tue 02-Apr-13 21:03:36

Hi all,

It was good! It was the Monday that everything went to hell. Her "schedule" if she ever had one has been all thrown off because we were visiting family and even though we told everyone she has a bedtime, it was constantly ignored. It doesn't help that my family is VERY overwhelming for an adult, so my poor little baby was knackered by the end of the night.

I've been up at 3 am twice in a row now. Dh has been helping me out when she wakes up in the middle of the night, but she gives him just as hard a time, if not worse, because he can't lactate. He went to work today absolutely miserable.

lagoonhaze Tue 02-Apr-13 20:20:46

"I know my Dh would have lots of family/friend support if I were to leave. He's an amazing dad. My MIL is awesome. I have an aunt and uncle who can't have children and they'd be amazing parents"

Use that support as your support. Let them help and care to you too.

Shakey1500 Tue 02-Apr-13 20:17:24

How are things MrsAK? Hope you had a good Easter smile

ColouringInQueen Fri 29-Mar-13 20:08:31

Thats great smile

MsAkimbo Fri 29-Mar-13 19:42:52

Doing a lot better today. We had a fun day with friends and Dh is cuddling with Dd smile Moments like these...

ColouringInQueen Fri 29-Mar-13 17:29:36

Oh MsAkimbo I'm completely with you on Facebook - it can be seriously unhelpful a LOT of the time wink Hope you're OK today.

MsAkimbo Thu 28-Mar-13 22:07:16

Shakey That sounds just like me atm.

I wish more people were honest about their days with a baby. I have decided to stop going onto facebook because if I see another picture of a happy baby and a mum with make up doing a Pinterest craft in a clean house I may crawl into bed and hide until DD is about 8.

Shakey1500 Thu 28-Mar-13 21:17:41

ALL children do this. You are familiar to her, she spends most of her time with you. The minute they see someone different from who they've been with all day, their interest piques. It's everything to do with being a child (and yes, likely a teething child) and nothing to do with who you are OR your abilities as a mother.

I really struggled when DS was a baby/toddler. And as soon as Dad came home it was like a personality switch! I was very much "Ermmm excuse me? I've done everything for you today, he's done diddly. Yet I'm the one who gets the grizzles and he's the one who gets the cute smiles? WTF?"

But you know, it's great in a big way. It's because she loves you unconditionally and is so secure in your company that she feels able to express all her emotions, even the sad ones. And that proves to me that you are doing a fab job.

I also remember reading (lots!) the old phrases "It will get better" and thinking "Yes, that's all very well but WHEN? Give me a date please so that I have a light at the end of a tunnel". But it's true, it really does. The other thing that helped was understanding the "pick your battles" phrase. Once I'd let up on trying to be so bloody perfect and expecting DS to be the same, it was like a ton of bricks being taken from my shoulders.

For what it's worth, I suffered particularly bad depression before DS was born. Am 100% certain I had PND but for valid reasons I did not go to my GP (I'm not saying this is wise for everyone). Five years on I am in a happier place. I will never be the perfect Mum, no one ever is. But I can be the best mum I can be under changing circumstances.

If any of that makes sense?!

MsAkimbo Thu 28-Mar-13 20:46:48

Aw Lucyellen sad as awful as that is, thank you for sharing it. I often tell my Dh that he'd be better off without me, to take Dd to my MIL, or have said "Mr. and Mrs. X would be a great family for DD."

DH is awesome, when he's home, he takes her and I am free to have a break. The trouble is, he often works late and is about 45 mins away from home.

Currently we're in a flat and it feels as though all my neighbours are listening to her scream. I swear someone came and listened outside the door. Every time I hear a siren I think people are coming to take her away.

She is definitely teething. I tried the teething powder and she threw it up. She's been teething for months. First one in playgroup to start teething. All the babies have teeth but her sad

Lucyellensmum95 Thu 28-Mar-13 20:30:06

So, there is a pattern - that means you can make a plan. Lets be logical, she is 8m old so is not crying because she wants daddy home now. She loves you, but is with you all day so when daddy comes in, maybe its the whole "change is as good as a rest" thing. So could it be that she is just getting over tired by this time? Could it be teething? Colic? I think its likely to be one of those things rather than her not wanting to be with you.

You sound like lots of other mums feel with a young baby - it is so so hard. What time does your DH come in? Does he take over - could you go and have a bath when he comes home - give yourself a break.

One thing i do know - you absolutely CAN be a good mother with depression (i know, im a good mother and i have depression) You are a good mother simply becaues you care. I have lost count of the times i have begged my DP to find my DD a new mum sad But I am her mum and she wants ME, just as your DD wants you. I have had a really shite couple of weeks (a sort of mini breakdown) and I have been shouty and withdrawn from my DD (she is 7), i felt like i wanted to leave (die even) Today, she said to me "mummy, i love you, you're the best mum in the world" Now i know i haven't been a great mum this week, but my DD still thinks im the best thing since sliced bread. One day, your little girl is going to say something like that to you.

Could you try those Nelsons teething powders? Just a thought, they used to really soothe my DD. You know, its OK to put a screaming baby down for a short time and distract yourself - a cold drink? Stand at the back door and get some air - wash your face, anything really.

It sounds like you are actually doing a really grand job.

Do you have a plan in place to protect yourself - if you feel really bad? Do you have a number for the CMHT? I have a 24 hour helpline number (on my phone - i think, dp put it on there for me) if i feel suicidal. Or there is the samaritans or A&E. I was told to ring any of those at any time.

MsAkimbo Thu 28-Mar-13 20:18:28

Weegiemum, did you have pre-existing depression before you had children?

MsAkimbo Thu 28-Mar-13 20:16:40

Thank you for the replies. This really does help and I'm glad I posted the thread. I was really scared at first.

It also seems as though she's trying to crawl...could that contribute to fussing?

ColouringInQueen Thu 28-Mar-13 20:15:02

grin weegiemum!

weegiemum Thu 28-Mar-13 20:13:58

I was treated for depression for approx 11 years.

I'm an awesome mum! (See, the therapy helped!!)

ColouringInQueen Thu 28-Mar-13 20:12:54

Hi MsAkimbo I remember both my DCs being seriously grotty after around 5pm when they were very little. I would be counting down the minutes til DH would be home - when yes they would pick up. It's a dad thing confused. There's a good reason many mums call the hour around 6pm "the witching hour" and that's without PND thrown in. Try and be kind to yourself.

MsAkimbo Thu 28-Mar-13 20:01:35

It does thanks

She seems to be miserable...until Dad gets home.

Shakey1500 Thu 28-Mar-13 19:55:00

What pattern have you seen MsAkimbo? We're all still here for you if it helps.

MsAkimbo Thu 28-Mar-13 19:41:23


MsAkimbo Thu 28-Mar-13 19:40:17

Sadly it's been horrible tonight. I'm beginning to see a patter at least...

clippityclop Thu 28-Mar-13 19:10:48

You and your husband sound like a great team. Really glad you had some good sleep, hope it's the same tonight. flowers

Pumble Thu 28-Mar-13 11:58:40

Glad you had some good sleep and had a good talk with your husband. His support will be invaluable. Keep talking. smile

MsAkimbo Thu 28-Mar-13 08:06:48

He was wonderful. We talked a lot; I said a lot of things I had never told him before that likely needed to be said.

He is a very logical, facts first thinker so having his perspective is often vastly different from mine.

We also made a mini "list" of things that trigger these feelings I have.

Shakey1500 Thu 28-Mar-13 06:33:24

Oh that's good,glad you got some decent sleep. A problem shared and all that. Hope today is a brighter one for you. How was Dh? Did you feel able to talk to him?

MsAkimbo Thu 28-Mar-13 03:17:39

Thanks again all x

Got some good sleep last night. Hoping for a better day...

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